What is the joke in ‘Sidney Applebaum’ on SNL?

What is the joke in ‘Sidney Applebaum’ on SNL?

It is based on a line from the old Woody Allen comedy “Love and Death” where a french general is talking about how his victory will cause the whole world to remember his name “Sidney Applebaum.”

It’s just one of those wonderful nonsequiturs that make Allen’s movies great.

As for Stefan, Bill Hader only knows a chunk of the script going into it, and the rest is a surprise (as seen by his frequent chuckle breaks.)

As a comedian, undoubtedly this would have struck him as hilarious, and as for the audience, they are just laughing either because some of them know the movie line and they get it or because they know they are supposed to.

It’s funny for the reasons mentioned, about the inside joke between Hader and John Mulaney, but the audience is not laughing at that right? They have no clue about the back story.

sidney applebaum
Sidney Applebaum

The reason the joke works is two-fold.

  1. Irony: the audience is set up by the Blackula comment, so they are ready for the Jewish Dracula to have, possibly, a cool sounding name, but it turns out to be a totally lame, unmistakable and ordinary sounding Jewish name. Also, people tend to stereotype Jewish people as being very conservative and sensible. This also makes the joke funny, at least in my mind.
  2. Also, the crowd absolutely loves it when Bill Hader breaks character and starts laughing uncontrollably. Hader has a reputation on the show for being fairly easy to break.

Regardless Hader and Mulaney are comedic geniuses and had a great run with this character Stefon. Hopefully, they don’t ruin it by trying to make a Stefon movie.

What is the joke in ‘Sidney Applebaum’ on SNL?

Sidney Applebaum is a character from the Woody Allen movie, ‘Love and Death’. In the movie, the character says:

They call me mad, but one day when the history of France is written, they will mark my name well… Sidney Applebaum!

The humor in this comes from the incongruity between a personal history will remember and the lameness of the name.

As explained in this Daily Beast interview:

Bill Hader Is Sad to Leave ‘Saturday Night Live’ (and Stefon) Behind

The Jewish Dracula named Sidney Applebaum made me laugh really hard, not because that’s such a funny joke of that name, but that name is from one of our favorite jokes in the Woody Allen movie Love and Death.

Where a guy is talking about how history will mark his name, Sidney Applebaum, and it’s just the latest name.

It just made us laugh. So it was all very personal.

Sidney Applebaum, the co-founder of Rainbow Foods, dies at 92

A grocery race was in his blood. His father, Oscar Applebaum, once sold door-to-door products in St. Paul from a horse-drawn carriage. As a child, Applebaum grouped soaps, rice in bags, worked as a box boy and delivered fruits and products to the grocery stand in his father’s center.

As an adult, he opened the Applebaum, Big Top Liquors and Sid’s Discount Liquors Foodbakets supermarket chain and co-founded Rainbow Foods store-style supermarkets, where he remained as president until 1997.

Until last week, Applebaum kept climbing every morning at 4 a.m. and going to his office in Midway Big Top Liquors, his family said.

His son, Jay Applebaum, recalled an argument between his father and a police officer after Sidney Applebaum was arrested for having his bright lights during a trip to work two years ago.

He told the officer that he was worried about hitting any deer that ran along the way. The officer asked him where that morning was going. To work, Applebaum responded.

“I saw your license, are you 90 years old and are you going to work? What are you talking about? “Said the officer.


The officer returned his license and said: “Okay. Keep it up. Go to work and drive safely.”

Recently, his daughter Nancy Rosenberg started picking him up every morning and took him to Perkins, where he would have coffee and pancakes before he took him to the office. Every day, he saw how the people of the community respected his father.

“We would stop in the Perkins parking lot and they would see it and have their pancakes ready by the time he entered the door,” he said.

That was the kind of relationship Applebaum had with everyone he knew.

He treated everyone from construction workers to CEOs with respect, said his daughter Ellen Saffron.

“I think my dad really saw people that everyone was equal; I respected everyone on the same level, ”she said. “He respected them and they respected him.”

Because of this, the turnover of their companies was low. He has at least one employee who has worked for him for 60 years and several who have been there for 30 or 40 years, his son said.

His roots were modest: he was raised along with his eight brothers in a three-room house on the west side of St. Paul, and he seemed never to forget him.

Their children remember from an early age the generosity of their father for those less fortunate than them, said Jay Applebaum.

Hanahaki Disease

“Anybody that needed anything, anything he could do for someone, he would do. If he had employees who couldn’t afford Thanksgiving dinner, he would take them to the grocery store and buy them whatever they needed,” he said.

He was generous with nearly everyone he met.

Sidney Applebaum
Sidney Applebaum

“I remember there were waitresses at a particular restaurant who were looking for some special dollhouse or toy that was really hard to get, and my father would call people all over the country to find out how to get them and then get it and give it to the waitress so they could give it to their child for a holiday or birthday,” Jay Applebaum said.

Along with his business acumen, Applebaum will be remembered for his love of family.

“Nothing was more important than his family and my mother,” Jay Applebaum said.

Applebaum and his wife, Lorraine, had plans to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Sept. 17 with their family at the Commodore Bar and Restaurant in St. Paul. They were married at the restaurant in 1946.

His devotion to his family meant that he never missed a Little League game, a swim meet, a golf match or a dance recital not only of his own children but his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“This is the truth, there is not a child who could wish for a father better than he was to us,” Jay Applebaum said. “He was the kindest, generous, thoughtful and caring father.”

What is the joke in ‘Sidney Applebaum’ on SNL?

Even after his father and eight siblings had families of their own, they still visited their parents every day. Jay Applebaum and his sisters continued this close-knit family tradition. “My sisters and I see our parents every day, and my father tries to see his grandchildren every day,” he said.

“He loved work, loved people, loved the city of St. Paul, loved family, loves his wife and stood behind his workers,” Jay Applebaum said. “Really, it was work and family. Hobbies didn’t really count for him. Other things didn’t really matter to him. He was just so proud. Of his children and business and proud of being able to help the community. They don’t make people like him anymore. He was such a special guy. Any person that he could help — if he knew that someone needed his help or that he felt he could help, he would want to make them as successful as possible and gave 100 percent effort into helping them.”

Sidney Applebaum timeline

  • 1900: Oscar Applebaum migrates from Russia, buys horses and wagon and begins selling fruits and vegetables to homes in St. Paul.
  • 1924: Oscar Applebaum opens storefront fruit and vegetable market at Seventh Street and St. Peter in St. Paul. Sons begin working at the store and selling newspapers on St. Paul streets.
  • 1932: Father and sons open the second store at St. Clair and Prior in St. Paul.
  • 1948: the Third store opens at 946 Payne Ave. Applebaum’s family considers becoming a chain.
  • The 1950s: Applebaum’s becomes a chain. Seven sons and two sons-in-law take over management.
  • The 1960s: Applebaum’s goes national as well as the public. The company begins building a chain of warehouse supermarkets with Dayton-Hudson’s Target stores, stretching from Duluth to Houston.
  • 1976: The remaining namesake Applebaum’s moves from St. Peter Street to the current location at Fifth and Wabasha in downtown St. Paul.
  • 1979: The 26 Applebaum’s Stores merge with National Tea Co. of Rosemount, Ill. The 19 National Tea stores in the Twin Cities markets are converted to Applebaum’s, making the Applebaum’s supermarket format the largest food retailer in the Twin Cities market.
  • 1982: National Tea sells its 56 Applebaum’s stores to Gateway Foods, a wholesale grocery firm in La Crosse, Wis. Gateway brings back Sidney Applebaum to develop and convert the stores to the Rainbow Foods chain of warehouse supermarkets.
  • 1994: Fleming Cos. of Oklahoma City, buys Gateway and Rainbow Foods in acquisition from Scrivner Inc., also of Oklahoma City, in $1.1 billion deal. Applebaum remains as president of the Rainbow unit.
  • Jan. 1, 1997: Sidney Applebaum retires from Rainbow Foods.

Thanks for Reading: Sidney Applebaum

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